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How to reduce CPC: 10 strategies to significantly lower Google Ad costs

Drew Gordon

January 13, 2023


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One of the biggest goals for paid ads is to reduce the cost per conversion. In this post, we show you exactly how to achieve lower CPC in Google Ads

Nobody likes throwing money down the drain. In this post we’re going to help you significantly reduce your Google Ads CPC costs.

Google ads have now become one of the main starting points for any company's digital marketing strategy. Competition for leads on Google Ads has grown substantially, hence why it has become even more integral to find strategies to reduce cost per conversion on Google Ads.  

We will show you ten of the best Google Ad strategies to significantly lower your Google Ads CPC, so you can scale your results in no time.

1. Apply regular negative keywords

Negative keywords are one of the best ways to prevent your ads from showing on searches that may not be relevant to your business. By regularly checking the search term data you can create a negative keyword list which will help you stop wasting money on clicks that may not be a fit for your business. 

This is one of the best ways to prevent wastage and save money on Google Ads.

Many advertisers don’t check where their clicks are coming from and will waste hundreds of dollars on clicks that may not be related to their business

It’s also worth noting that particular search terms may show less commercial intent and will have a lower chance of a lead converting. So it is important to add these terms to your negative keyword list. In turn, this will help you distribute your budget towards search terms that do convert, therefore reducing your overall cost per conversion.

Tip: Before you start your campaign upload a bulk list from of competitor names to avoid wasted clicks

A list of campaign negative keywords in Google Ads.

2. Improve quality score 

The Google Quality Score metric is an estimate of the quality and relevance of your ad copy, keywords, and landing pages. 

A stronger quality score leads to lower cost per click and higher ad rank. By saving money on cheaper clicks at a greater ad position, you can achieve a greater return on investment (ROI). 

A look at how Google impacts CPC negatively or positively based on Quality Score.

One of the best ways to improve quality score is to make sure your selected keywords feature not only in your ad copy but in the content on your website as well.

Creating synergy between your keywords, landing pages, and ad copy is key. This will go a long way towards improving your quality score, which will help you outrank your competition even if they have larger budgets.

3. Set up advert scheduling - Day of the Week 

Using the ad scheduling feature on the Google Ads platform is a great way to reduce cost per conversion. Once your campaigns have recorded a sufficient level of data you can then analyse performance to determine which times of day and which days of the week produce the best and worst cost per conversion. 

Here is an example of a business where their conversion rate is stronger in the middle of the work week (Tues - Thursday) compared to the start and end of the work week (Monday - Friday).

A look at conversion rate optimisation of ads based on days of the week.

With this knowledge you have the option to either stop running ads on the weaker days altogether or the alternative strategy of making bid adjustments. In this example, you could make negative bid adjustments (lower the average CPC) for the start and end of the work week and increase bid adjustments (increase the average CPC) for the middle of the work week.

Implementing ad scheduling and bid adjustments successfully is an extremely effective way to reduce your cost per conversion 

4. Lower and adjust keyword bidding 

Lowering your average bid amount is a simple way to reduce overall costs. By doing this you may reduce your average ad position (to position two, three or four) but that’s not necessarily a bad thing under certain circumstances. 

In fact, dropping a few positions may not affect your conversion rate negatively at all. It could even increase your conversion rate while paying less per click. Hence achieving a greater return on investment.  

To have the maximum control over keyword bid adjustments, it is best to maintain a manual bidding strategy. This will give the most flexibility and control over bidding. 

Alternatively, a more granular approach could be to make negative bid adjustments only on underperforming keywords and positive bid adjustments on overperforming keywords. This would help reduce overall budget wastage.

5. Set age demographic targeting 

Google Ads now gives you the ability to segment data on a granular demographic level by age, gender, and household income data. You can now refine your target audience to best suit your business, product, or service.

With the example below, demographic data tells you that the 35 to 54 age groups provided the lowest cost per conversion. It also tells us that the age group of 65+ provided the highest cost per conversion. 

Moving forward you could exclude the 65+ age group so that your budget is focused on the age group that converts better.

Alternatively, you could make bid adjustments accordingly to which age demographic is performing and which isn’t performing. 

A look at CPA optimisation based on Age Demographic.

6. Localise your content 

Creating a series of landing pages that are tailored to each different geographic area your business services is a smart way to increase your ROI and reduce the cost per click of your Google Ads campaigns.

To complement your landing pages you can create ad groups with long tail keywords that feature the relevant location for example ‘business accountant Port Macquarie’. Long tail keywords typically have a low search volume but they are also less competitive and can lower your cost per click simply because fewer companies are bidding on the same terms.

To further reduce your costs, it would also be wise to feature that keyword combination in the ad copy and on your target landing page. Not only can you boost the click-through rate (CTR) but also your ad’s quality score. The higher the level of relevance between your content and the user’s search query, the better chance you have to lower Google Ads CPC across your campaigns.

Local results via Paid Campaigns for Accounting Firms in Port Macquarie, New South Wales.

7. Device targeting  

Users are making searches on their mobile devices more than ever before. But are they converting on mobile? 

Mobile conversion rates can vary greatly from industry to industry. The example below is data from a car towing business. 

Not only do 87.8% of their conversions come from mobile devices but the cost per conversion on mobile devices is cheaper too. Given this information, you could have the option to either exclude desktop and tablet devices or lower bids on these devices.

Both strategies would help reduce cost per conversion and can apply to many industries and websites. 

A look at advertising performance across each device type.

8. Monitor keywords

Over time some keyword combinations become more expensive than others. Not to mention seasonal spikes.

Given that, it’s important to pause keywords that either aren’t producing conversions or have a high cost per conversion. This will allow you to distribute more budget to your top performing keywords.

You can then re-activate campaigns for certain keywords when ad costs drop or use any of the other strategies mentioned in our post to help lower your costs for these keywords in the long term.

9. Experiment with keyword match types  

As great as it is to bring in click volume through broad match keyword phrases (and to a lesser extent phrase match), it’s more important to bring the right traffic which is relevant to your business.

If you’re finding that broad match and phrase match keywords are becoming expensive and not producing enough conversions, it would be worth pausing those match types. Instead, try creating ad groups that only feature exact match keywords to try and reduce your cost per conversion by regulating your target search terms and relevant keywords for your business.

Broad, Phrase and Exact Match types and their definitions.

10. Create & trial new advert copy

If your existing ad copy isn’t producing your desired ROI then a smart strategy would be to A/B test new ad copy.

Try and make sure your ad copy is as relevant as possible to your keyword selection and website content as this is a factor in determining your ad quality score. 

Once your new ad copy is live and data is collected you can then compare the cost per conversion between the two ads and pause the ad with the higher costs.

Key takeaways

Lowering your Google Ads cost per conversion is achievable by reviewing your data and implementing various strategies to help reduce wastage and get your ads in front of users that are relevant to your business.

At EngineRoom we consistently strive to achieve the best possible ROI for our customers.

Through a range of Google Ads strategies, we shine the torch on what works the best and how we can extend your ad budget even further.

Book a strategy session today and speak to one of our digital advisors about how you can grow your business through Google Ads.


Lower your Google Ads costs with a free strategy session*

We specialise in helping businesses reduce their marketing costs and can help you lower your Google ad CPC.

  • Get a better understanding of where your ads are costing your business
  • We generate a detailed report from your strategy session
  • Understand your priorities and next steps for reducing your CPC


Book a strategy session today and speak to one of our digital advisors about how you can grow your business through Google Ads.

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